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Oprah Winfrey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (68)  | Personal Quotes (33)  | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA
Birth NameOrpah Gail Winfrey
Nicknames O
Deepak Oprah
Lady O
Height 5' 6½" (1.69 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Oprah Gail Winfrey , often known simply as Oprah, is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years, from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she was the richest African-American of the 20th century, was once the world's only black billionaire, and the greatest black philanthropist in U.S. history. By 2007, she was sometimes ranked as the most influential woman in the world

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bonitao

Family (3)

Children None (no children)
Parents Lee, Vernita
Vernon Winfrey
Relatives Lee (Presley), Hattie Mae (grandparent)

Trade Mark (3)

Her self-deprecating humor
Often sings her words when presenting.
Her empathetic interviewing style

Trivia (68)

Permanently withdrew herself and her show from consideration for a Daytime Emmy Award after being awarded the Lifetime Achievement (1998). She was quoted as saying, "After you've achieved it for a lifetime, what else is there?".
In addition to being a news anchor on WJZ-TV13 in Baltimore, MD, she was co-host with Richard Sher (a reporter) on a local talk show called "People Are Talking" on that station.
Attended Nicolet High School (Glendale, WI) for a short period of time as a teenager but finally graduated from East Nashville High School, where she was voted most popular (Class of 1971). She graduated from Tennessee State University in Nashville , with a degree in Speech and Performing Arts (Class of 1987).
Was sued by Texas cattlemen who claimed that she defamed beef on her talk show. The case went to trial, causing her to have to relocate her show's production to Amarillo, TX, for the duration of the trial. She was found not liable.
Ranked first in "Entertainment Weekly"'s 1998 list of the most powerful people in show business, but dropped to sixth on the 1999 list. Still, she was the highest-ranking performer, as well as the highest-ranking woman, and the only African-American to make the list.
Is the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show.
Listed as one of 12 "Promising New Actors of 1985" in "John Willis' Screen World", Vol. 37.
In September 1997 it was announced that she would receive $130 million for continuing her talk show through the 1999-2000 television season.
In 1997 she was chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
In 1994 was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY.
In 1999 she and Stedman Graham were teaching "Dynamics of Leadership" class at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
In October 1999 she was given an honorary National Book Award for her "influential contribution to reading and books".
In November 1999 she was awarded the 50th-anniversary medal by the National Book Foundation in New York City.
Her immensely popular television talk show is a Harpo Production. Harpo is "Oprah" spelled backwards. Harpo is also the name of a character in The Color Purple (1985) (Oprah's film debut) played by Willard E. Pugh.
Gave birth to a baby boy when she was just 14. The baby passed away after two weeks, from complications of being born two months premature.
Over the course of her 25 years hosting The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986), she taped 217 episodes dedicated to sexual abuse, having been a survivor of such abuse herself as a young girl. She was instrumental in the passage of the Oprah Bill, in the early 1990s. The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton and is aimed at stopping child abuse.
Raised in abject poverty, she received her first pair of shoes at age 6 (1960). She learned to read at age 2½. In fact, when it was time for her to start kindergarten, she wrote a note to her teacher insisting she should be in first grade. The teacher agreed and after finishing that grade she was then skipped to third grade.
Her partner since 1986 is Stedman Graham.
In April 2002 she and her former personal trainer, Bob Greene, announced they are buying seven shoreline lots from Getty Family Trust to build several homes, including one on a 102-acre lot, for her. They plan to put conservation first and keep site development low-key.
Ranked #1 Pop Culture Icon on VH1's The Greatest: 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons (2003), beating out Superman and Elvis Presley.
In June 2004 she purchased a house at 3330 Radcliffe Avel., West Vancouver, BC, Canada. This 11,000-sq.-ft. waterfront property was on sale for Cdn $18 million, at the time British Columbia's most expensive house, but she paid Cdn $17 million (US $13 million).
Daughter of Vernon Winfrey by Vernita Lee (5/2/1935-11/22/2018). Had two half-siblings from her mother. Her half-brother passed away from AIDS in December 1988 and her half-sister, Patricia Lee, passed away under mysterious circumstances in 2003. Her niece is Chrishaunda Lee Perez, the daughter of her late half-sister Patricia. She walked her niece down the aisle at Chrishaundra's wedding in 2005.
According to Forbes.com, her 2019 net worth is $2.6 billion. In 2003 she became the first African-American woman to make the list of billionaires.
Was a guest at Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger's star-studded wedding.
First African American woman billionaire in history and first African American female entrepreneur to appear on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
In 2005, after years of publicly criticizing David Letterman' s late-night television show, Late Show with David Letterman (1993), she and Letterman finally settled their differences when she agreed to appear on the 12/1/05 episode, during which time she was to be in New York to promote her musical of The Color Purple (1985). During the Superbowl of 2007, they appeared in an advertisement together for Letterman's show. In the ad, they sat together on a couch watching the Super Bowl, wearing opposing team jerseys.
Has a cameo playing herself in Throw Momma from the Train (1987). In a "clip" from her show, she interviews a writer (the ex-wife of Billy Crystal's character) whose plagiarized and embellished "life story" is at the top of the best-seller lists (foreshadowing the James Frey controversy 20 years later).
In 2006 was ranked #3 on the annual Forbes magazine Celebrity 100 list.
In October 2006 she collapsed from heat exhaustion during a visit to her birthplace of Kosciusko, MS.
Her name was originally "Orpah", after the biblical figure in the Book of Ruth. Several different stories allude to the fact that either a misspelling on her birth certificate or a struggle with the pronunciation of her name eventually led to "Oprah" being adopted as her given name.
A DNA test on the show African American Lives (2006) revealed that her genetic ancestry is 89% Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian (which may be Native American markers). Her African genetic roots include Kpelle, Bamileke and Zambian.
In May 2007 she appeared on the annual "Time" 100 list, the magazine's ranking of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She is the only person who has been on that list five times.
In July 2007 her two-year-old golden retriever, Gracie, passed away after accidentally choking on another dog's ball.
In 2006, she gave $58,300,000 to charity to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, Oprah's Angel Network, and other groups.
In 2006 she earned an estimated $260 million in salary from her various interests including syndication, cable television, and print magazines. That same year she gave $58,300,000 to charity to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, Oprah's Angel Network, and other groups.
Thanked by Shawn Colvin in the liner notes of her album "A Few Small Repairs" (1996).
Ranked #3 in 2006 on the annual Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Ranked #1 in the 2008 Forbes Celebrity 100 list.
In 2009 she received an honorary doctorate from Duke University in Durham, NC, and was the commencement speaker.
Her personal chef until 2007 was Art Smith.
Recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors; other recipients that year were Jerry Herman, Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard and Bill T. Jones.
Her idol is Diana Ross. Her favorite album is "Graceland" (1986) by Paul Simon. She was interviewed about the album for the documentary Under African Skies (2012).
Over the 25-year run of her daytime TV talk show, she never once missed a day through absenteeism.
When er talk show went independent for the first time, her staff consisted of four people, including herself. By 2011 her empire had expanded to 464 employees.
Her broadcasting career began in the late 1960s as a teenage intern at WVOL, an African-American radio station in Nashville, TN.
Received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, a special Academy Award for her charity work, on 11/12/11 in Los Angeles, CA.
Teenage crushes were Beatle Paul McCartney and the Jackson 5's Jackie Jackson.
Ever since she was 15 she has kept a journal of every day of her life.
Since the inception of the "Book Club" segment on her show, an estimated 30 million books were sold as a direct result of the worldwide publicity.
She has become the first African-American woman to own a cable network. It is called OWN, which stands for Oprah Winfrey Network.
In 2013 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Subject of the song "Oprah Winfrey" by Wesley Willis.
Last person to interview Liberace on television before his death--The Oprah Winfrey Show: Episode dated 25 December 1986 (1986).
Has five dogs: Luke and Layla (golden retrievers), Sadie (cocker spaniel) and Sunny and Lauren (springer spaniels). Ivan, another cocker spaniel, died in 2009 of Parvovirus, common to dogs. which is fatal roughly 80% of the time.
Was invited to the premiere of Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994). She walked out of the showing in disgust due to the film's gore, specifically the scene where Lestat is bleeding profusely after having his throat slit by Claudia.
Due to her immense popularity on television, audiences tended to think she was the first African-American woman to host her own TV talk show, when that distinction actually belonged to Della Reese with her short-lived Della (1969).
On 12/7/18 she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Award; it was presented to her by Reese Witherspoon.
Is mentioned by name in Travie McCoy's 2010 song "Billionaire" (feat. Bruno Mars).
On 5/19/18 she attended the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, bedecked in a Stella McCartney-designed pale pink dress and sporting a flowered hat designed for her by Irish milliner Philip Treacy.
Civil rights activist/poet and memoirist Maya Angelou took her under her wing when she was 22. The friendship lasted nearly 40 years, until Angelou's passing in 2014. Winfrey frequently remembers her late mentor and friend, whom she has credited for her stardom as a television personality.
Marianne Williamson is her spiritual advisor.
Has highly praised Maya Angelou for her stardom as a television personality and talk show hostess.
Attended the funeral of her mentor Maya Angelou when the civil rights activist and poet passed away on 5/28/14.
As a television personality (and later) talk show hostess, she was highly influenced by Maya Angelou.
Her mentor is the late Maya Angelou.
As an unfamiliar television personality and talk show hostess, she was mentored in the business by civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou. Angelou met college dropout Winfrey in 1976, when Winfrey worked as a TV anchor at WJZ-TV, in Baltimore, MD.
Is depicted, as a cartoon, in the controversial South Park: South ParQ Vaccination Special (2021).
Born at 4:30 AM (CST).

Personal Quotes (33)

Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.
Lots of people want to ride with you in the Limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the Limo breaks down.
All my life I have always known I was born to greatness.
The essential question is not, "How busy are you?' but 'What are you busy at?' 'Are you doing what fulfills you?'
What matters is how you feel inside, because feeling beautiful on the inside is key to looking good.
The expectation of my life was that I might be able to work for some good white folks. Now I got some good white folks working for me.
Some women have a weakness for shoes... I can go barefoot if necessary. I have a weakness for books.
My philosophy is that doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
[on Natasha Richardson's tragic death] Just want to say how deeply saddened I am, we all are, by the sudden passing of actress Natasha Richardson yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Liam Neeson, their two sons, the rest of their family and friends. Yet another reminder of how fleeting life can be and how precious. We need to value every moment.
[part of her 2009 commencement speech at Duke University] Of all the wonderful things that have happened including getting a doctorate, an honorary doctorate from Duke, what really makes me feel successful is being able to use my life in service to someone else. And I will have to say, it is a wonderful thing to have a beautiful home or homes, a wonderful thing to have a beautiful home which just escaped the fire in Santa Barbara. And it is really fantastic to have your own jet and anybody who says it isn't is lying to you. The jet thing is really good. But you haven't completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward.
[on personal power] I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.
[on strategy] Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
Having the best things is no substitute for having the best life.
Reaching your true potential is more than an ideal. It's the ultimate goal.
When the odds are against you and you have the depth of clarity to listen to your own instincts and follow what is true for you, you may not become a Jay-Z, but you will become the best thing that you can be.
I'm a firm believer that anyone can have a breakthrough right in her own backyard.
No matter where you are on your journey, that's exactly where you need to be. The next road is always up.
Be thankful for what you have; you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
The best advice touches the part of you that knows it's true.
[on Shondra Rhimes] Shondra is a storyteller for our times. Courageous in her approach to the work, she's never played by other people's rules. She creates an assemblage of worldly foibles and aspirations. She understands that every dream is valuable and every identity deserves inspection through the looking-glass of television. She knows the power of reflection and wields that power with grace and generosity.
[on performing in The Butler (2013)] I'm a historian of my own history - of African American history. I believe that when you know who you are you have the ability to move forward, not only with your own strength but with the strength of your entire ancestry. I am the daughter of a maid, and my grandmother was a maid, and her mother was a maid, and her mother was a slave. I feel validated by the war that the butler and his entire generation fought in their own way. And the fact that there's another generation of freedom writers and freedom fighters, because of evolution and growth and change, decided they weren't going to do that anymore. Both wars were necessary for their time.
I feel I have made a living being myself. I've made a career out of my own authenticity. I don't have one face I present to the white world or to the black world. I talk to my dogs the same way I'm speaking right now.
Whatever your dreams, ideas or rejects, we plant a seed, nurture it - and then reap the fruits of our labors. When in doubt, be bold!
The future is full of possibility, whether you make one tiny change - or a whole invigorating, thrilling, inspiring bunch of them.
What kind of woman do I want to be? One who willingly gives and receives love. One who is compassionate. Understanding. Positive. Forgiving. A woman who makes responsible choices. I want to live with a heart open to life.
Do the thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.
Every day brings tremendous possibility - a chance to live more fully, love more deeply and learn something new.
[on Colson Whirehead and 'The Underground Railroad'] Colson has a vision about what it means to make art. He didn't just write a historical novel about slavery and courage and the beating heart of freedom. Although the struggle continues and our challenges are not behind us, the brilliance of his vision is that he reminds us that, like his heroine Cora, we can never give up hope, can never stop trying.
[on Shelley Hack, in regards to her Revlon perfume commercials]: I wanted to stride like her with confidence. I wanted to be this fabulous.
I think if I had been born with a silver spoon, I would still be sitting there sucking on it.
Small steps lead to big accomplishments.
If you concentrate on what you don't have, you'll never have enough.

Salary (2)

The Color Purple (1985) approx. $35,000
The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) $315,000,000 per year (2010)

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